Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix is humorous horror, allowing readers to whistle past the graveyard — or, in this case, giggle past the bloody smears messing up the Ikea-like floor displays in the failing “Orsk” store, where 24-year-old Amy — the story’s heroine — reluctantly works retail.
Desperate for a transfer to a different Orsk store, Amy has to spend the night before an important inspection in the knockoff Ikea chain outlet with her annoying boss and a perky Orsk co-worker Ruth Anne to see who’s been messing up the store when no one’s there. No one suspects anything is happening except garden-variety vandalism, but no one wants the head honchos to hear about problems at the store.
Be careful what you wish for. It’s starting to look like it might be Amy’s last shift here. Or anywhere.
“Call my cell phone if you see anything suspicious,” Basil said. “And whatever happens, do not leave the break room. There are enough people running around in here. It’s starting to feel like an episode of Scooby-Doo. We’ll regroup when we find this guy.”
It was the first time all night that Amy was glad to follow Basil’s orders. She walked back to the break room and took out her cell phone.
“I don’t like this,” Ruth Anne said, coming in after her.
“Me, either,” Amy said, tapping her phone’s screen.
“What’re you doing?”
“Calling the cops.”
“But we just said we weren’t going to do that.”
A former film critic for the New York Sun, the author has written for Slate, the Village Voice, Time Out New York, Playboy, and Variety. Horrorstör is the author’s first novel.
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